eSports & Gaming

Nerfs finally incoming for Bard, Aurelion Sol, and others in LoL Patch 14.4

There’s only a week left to take advantage of some of the most powerful champions and strategies in League of Legends currently as a number of them will be nerfed soon.

Patch 14.4 is quickly approaching and Riot Phroxzon, the lead gameplay designer for League, gave players a small teaser today of what they can expect when the patch is released on Feb. 22—complete with a number of nerfs for champions that players have remained vocal about since the 2024 season began. These changes will soon be available for testing on the PBE.

Keeping with the trends of previous patches, all of the champions on this nerf list appear due to their current state at a particular level, whether that be for solo queue or pro play. Urgot and Fiora in particular are wreaking havoc in the top lane of solo queue games, while Varus and Kalista continue to dominate the pro play ADC meta—resulting in all four of these champions having their power reduced in some capacity in Patch 14.4.

Aurelion Sol is once again on Riot’s radar after what was perhaps the most eventful week in the champion’s history, complete with an “overshot” buff release that was quickly hotfixed. Yet even after the nerfs, the champion remains one of the most powerful options in the mid lane thanks to the changes to his stacking playstyle, which may be altered further thanks to these incoming nerfs.

After years of being an obscure, unpopular, hard-to-play champion, Bard immediately reaped the rewards of the 2024 season changes as soon as they made their way to the live servers. Between the new and altered items, adjustments to the terrain in Summoner’s Rift, and a general identity shift for the support role, Bard was given even more ways to build and roam around the map—ultimately resulting in a near 53-percent win rate that has persisted for the past several patches but is now finally being addressed.

Riot will also be taking further steps to diminish the power of Maokai, yet another champion continuing to overperform in the support role with the season’s item changes. To not repeat consecutive patches of a support champion being too strong, the dev team is taking immediate action to nerf Zyra, who floats around a similar win rate to both Maokai and Bard but due to the sheer amount of poke damage she unleashes during the laning phase.

A separate “champion adjustments” section is included on this patch preview, indicating that K’Sante, Rek’Sai, and Smolder will be subject to both buffs and nerfs simultaneously, though their extent is not yet clear. Notably, this is the first time that Smolder is receiving any changes following his release in Patch 14.2, with the champion fluctuating around a 50-percent win rate.

All of these teased nerfs, as well as a multitude of buffs, nerfs, and other changes to champions and items, will be released on League’s live servers on Feb. 22. During the testing period on the PBE, Riot may alter these tweaks further, meaning they may not launch officially the way they were initially teased.

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